With UFC 202 around the corner, Las Vegas, Nevada, may not have many Irish fans in attendance when Conor McGregor steps into the Octagon to face Nate Diaz for a second time on Aug. 20, 2016. That's because a round trip ticket from Ireland to "Sin City" isn't cheap. And since numerous Irish fans likely coughed up a lot of coin in advance to see McGregor rematch Diaz at UFC 200 as originally planned before it was cancelled -- or have their finances tied in other sporting events going around globally such as the Olympics -- some of them won't likely make the sacrifice this time around.
No partying in the streets this weekend, apparently.
As a result, McGregor predicts he will go into hostile "enemy territory" this weekend -- unlike at UFC 196 back in March --telling "The MMA Hour" that Diaz's fan base may outweigh his come fight night.
"I estimate that I'll be fighting in enemy territory this time," he said. "Usually it's been home for me in this place, with traveling fans. I'm estimating I'm going into a war zone here," McGregor said (via MMA Fighting). "That's what I'm estimating, that's what I've been preparing for, that's what I'm looking forward to."
That said, McGregor hopes to fight again in Ireland soon, something he hasn't done since taking out Diego Brandao two years ago in Dublin. First, "Notorious" says he has to take care of business stateside before he can go back home and compete in front of his countrymen.
"I fight all the fucking time, so it's getting close for me now that I want to fight back home, that I want to give my fans back home a fight, he said. "I've been kept away from my home for a while. I understand that it's big business out here, and that's why we're here.
"I've got to handle myself, too. As much as I want to perform for the fans back home -- and I want to have those shows back home and do that -- I've still got to handle my business out here. So I know my countrymen will be supporting me wherever they are, and I know there will be many here in town, and I know there will be even more back home in Ireland and all over the world supporting me. So, I am content with that for now."
Indeed, McGregor is confident that ticket sales will still be through the roof, expecting to have a packed T-Mobile Arena. And once the dust settles, the Featherweight champ says all records will be broken as he continues to take over the entire combat sports game.
"The ticket sales have been great for it, for a such a big arena at this time of year, the end of summer with everything going on. I'm very happy with it. We're talking record breaking again," he claimed.
"You know that. You know the pay-per-view buys will be smashed. I've dominated the headlines it seems. I have every game wrapped up. I have the boxing game, I have the wrestling game. I have this game wrapped up for years now. What else can I do? This will break all records and I'm very happy with it."
To my knowledge, McGregor hasn't participated in a boxing match or professional wrestling match, but he has been doing well with the PPV buys. It has not been for lack of trash-talking effort, though, as Floyd Mayweather can attest.
Nevertheless, the confident Irishman says he's in charge and when he meets Diaz for a second time this Saturday, fully intent on showing the first loss was a mere misstep on his path to all-time greatness.
Something Diaz would like to blow up ... again.